Carnal Clues: The Physiology of Fidgeting
Jitters tend to barge in uninvited before big events, like taking the stage or getting down on one knee. Momentary anxiety activates the amygdala, your brain’s danger lookout, and triggers fight-or-flight symptoms, says Srinivasan Pillay, a psychiatrist in Cambridge, Massachusetts. To pump the brakes on panic, focus on slowing and deepening your breath. Here’s what’s happening as you await your Big Moment.